Совет национальной безопасности США
Совет национальной безопасности (англ. National Security Council, сокращённо СНБ) — консультативный орган при президенте США для решения наиболее важных вопросов национальной безопасности и внешней политики, и координации действий всех основных ведомств, связанных с указанными вопрос ...

Совет национальной безопасности (англ. National Security Council, сокращённо СНБ) — консультативный орган при президенте США для решения наиболее важных вопросов национальной безопасности и внешней политики, и координации действий всех основных ведомств, связанных с указанными вопросами.

Совет национальной безопасности был создан в 1947 году законом о национальной безопасности. Его созданию послужила убеждённость влиятельных американских политиков в том, что дипломатия Государственного департамента США больше не была способна сдерживать СССР при напряжённых отношениях между СССР и США[1]. Конечной целью его создания было обеспечение согласованности действий между военно-морскими силами, Корпусом морской пехоты, сухопутными войсками и военно-воздушными силами США.

2009 г.:

Заседание СНБ: президент Барак Обама, Госсекретарь Хиллари Клинтон, Министр обороны — Роберт Гейтс, Заместитель начальника ОКНШ — ген. Кэртрайт, директор разведки Деннис Блэр, советник президента Грег Крейг, директор ЦРУ Леон Панетта, заместитель начальника Совета внутренней безопасности Том Донилон, советник президента по национальной безопасности ген. Джеймс «Джим» Джонс и глава президентской администрации Рэм Эмануел

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31 октября, 21:28

Ash Carter: Behind the Plan to Defeat ISIS

To its credit, the Trump administration followed the path we set in the Obama administration.

31 октября, 19:37

When the World Lucked Out of a Nuclear War

The escalating crisis with North Korea coincides with the 55th anniversary of a Russian naval captain’s fateful decision to prevent a torpedo launch at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

31 октября, 19:01

Pat Buchanan Exposes "That Other Plot..." To Bring Down Trump

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org, Well over a year after the FBI began investigating “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has brought in his first major indictment. Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has been charged with a series of crimes dating back years, though none is tied directly to President Donald Trump or 2016. With a leak to CNN that indictments were coming, Mueller’s office stole the weekend headlines. This blanketed the explosive news on a separate front, as the dots began to be connected on a bipartisan plot to bring down Trump that began two years ago. And like “Murder of the Orient Express,” it seems almost everyone on the train had a hand in the plot. The narrative begins in October 2015. Then it was that the Washington Free Beacon, a neocon website, engaged a firm of researchers called Fusion GPS to do deep dirt-diving into Trump’s personal and professional life — and take him out. A spinoff of Bill Kristol’s The Weekly Standard, the Beacon is run by his son-in-law. And its Daddy Warbucks is the GOP oligarch and hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer. From October 2015 to May 2016, Fusion GPS dug up dirt for the neocons and never-Trumpers. By May, however, Trump had routed all rivals and was the certain Republican nominee. So the Beacon bailed, and Fusion GPS found two new cash cows to finance its dirt-diving — the DNC and the Clinton campaign. To keep the sordid business at arm’s length, both engaged the party’s law firm of Perkins Coie. Paid $12.4 million by the DNC and Clinton campaign, Perkins used part of this cash hoard to pay Fusion GPS. Here is where it begins to get interesting. In June 2016, Fusion GPS engaged a British spy, Christopher Steele, who had headed up the Russia desk at MI6, to ferret out any connections between Trump and Russia. Steele began contacting old acquaintances in the FSB, the Russian intelligence service. And the Russians began to feed him astonishing dirt on Trump that could, if substantiated, kill his candidacy. Among the allegations was that Trump had consorted with prostitutes at a Moscow hotel, that the Kremlin was blackmailing him, that there was provable collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. In memos from June to October 2016, Steele passed this on to Fusion GPS, which passed it on to major U.S. newspapers. But as the press was unable to verify it, they declined to publish it. Steele’s final product, a 35-page dossier, has been described as full of “unsubstantiated and salacious allegations.” Steele’s research, however, had also made its way to James Comey’s FBI, which was apparently so taken with it that the bureau considered paying Steele to continue his work. About this “astonishing” development, columnist Byron York of the Washington Examiner quotes Sen. Chuck Grassley: “The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises … questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends.” The questions begin to pile up. What was the FBI’s relationship with the British spy who was so wired into Russian intelligence? Did the FBI use the information Steele dug up to expand its own investigation of Russia-Trump “collusion”? Did the FBI pass what Steele unearthed to the White House and the National Security Council? Did the Obama administration use the information from the Steele dossier to justify unmasking the names of Trump officials that had been picked up on legitimate electronic intercepts? In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz claimed they did not know that Perkins Coie had enlisted Fusion GPS or the British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. Yet, when Podesta testified, the lawyer sitting beside him in the committee room was Marc Elias of Perkins Coie, who had engaged Fusion GPS and received the fruits of Steele’s undercover work. Here one is tempted to cite Bismarck that, if you wish to enjoy politics or sausages, you should not inquire too closely how they are made. Thus we have Free Beacon neocons, never-Trump Republicans, the Hillary Clinton campaign, the DNC, a British spy and comrades in Russian intelligence, and perhaps the FBI, all working with secret money and seedy individuals to destroy a candidate they could not defeat in a free election. If future revelations demonstrate that this is what went down, it is not only the White House that has major problems. If you wish to know why Americans detest politics and hate the “swamp” that has been made of their capital city, follow this story all the way to its inevitable end. It will be months of unfolding. The real indictment here is of the American political system, and the true tragedy is the decline of the Old Republic.

31 октября, 17:27

The Broken Check and Balance

It’s up to Congress to police the executive—but so far, its Republican leaders are placing tribal loyalty ahead of their constitutional responsibility.

31 октября, 16:28

North Korea Forced Richard Nixon’s First Foreign Crisis

Michael Rowand Security, Asia In 1969, the president was unable to find a military solution to Pyongyang's aggression. Nixon could find no military option that would convey resolve without the possibility of North Korean retaliation or sustained military operations. When Pres. Richard Nixon was inaugurated in January 1969, North Korea wasn’t his primary focus. During the 1968 campaign, Nixon had promised “an honorable end to the war in Vietnam.” Compared with Vietnam, Korea was a Cold War backwater. Yet it produced Nixon’s first foreign policy crisis. Nixon’s term began quietly enough. There were formal calls and meetings with South Korean officials. The administration directed that an update of contingency planning be concluded by April 25, 1969. But on Jan. 30, just 10 days after Nixon was inaugurated, a special national intelligence estimate was circulated. There is no evidence it reached the president. It argued that “under present conditions, North Korea does not intend to invade South Korea.” But, it would continue harassing allied forces in the Demilitarized Zone and elsewhere. North Korean leader Kim Il Sung was “apparently confident” he could act without significant retaliation from the United States or South Korea. The chief danger when interacting with the North Koreans was “miscalculation.” At 12:50 A.M. on April 15, the Situation Room was alerted that an EC-121 reconnaissance plane with 31 Americans aboard had been attacked by two North Korean fighters. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger learned at 1:10 A.M. At 2:17 A.M., Radio Pyongyang proclaimed that an American plane had entered North Korean airspace and been destroyed. Still, Kissinger didn’t alert Nixon until morning. When Nixon reached the Oval Office, he felt, according to his memoir, that “we were being tested, and therefore force must be met with force.” The aircraft had never been in North Korean airspace. Despite Nixon’s desire to retaliate, he acted unhurriedly. A National Security Council meeting wasn’t scheduled until the following day at 10:00 A.M. A Joint Chiefs of Staff analysis portrayed the incident in the context of the USS Pueblo incident of the previous year, when a U.S. ship and its crew were taken hostage by North Korean forces. The crew were released in December 1968, but the ship was never returned. Read full article

30 октября, 12:41

США завершают подготовку вариантов поставок оружия Украине

Администрация президента США завершает разработку вариантов дальнейшего предоставления военной помощи Украине, которая включает возможных поставках ей оружия. Об этом сообщает УНН со ссылкой на The Washington Post. Как сообщает издание, чиновники Совета национальной безопасности США […]

30 октября, 08:00

UN chief urges Security Council to 'be ambitious' in supporting Sahel anti-terror force

Stressing the urgent need to help Mali and other countries in the Sahel address cross-border terrorism and organized crime, Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday invited the United Nations Security Council to “be ambitious” in deciding how the UN supports the region's newly-established joint force.

29 октября, 11:08

Спекуляции вокруг американского оружия для Украины идут своим чередом

Украинские политики потирают руки от нетерпения – президент США Дональд Трамп должен принять окончательное решение о поставках оружия на Украину в самое ближайшее время, пишет американский журнал Foreign Policy (FP). Осведомлённые источники говорят, что среди такого оборонительного оружия могут быть снайперские винтовки, контрбатарейные РЛС, средства ПВО и, возможно, противотанковые управляемые ракеты Javelin, пишет FP. Правда,...

28 октября, 23:45

Trump Confirms "All JFK Files Are Released" After Latest Clash With Spy Agencies

Update: Following Friday's disappointing release of some, but not all, remaining files related to the death of President John F. Kennedy, President Trump just confirmed, via tweet, that the rest of the files are released, well ahead of schedule... JFK Files are released, long ahead of schedule! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2017 Of course, given that this is the government - and the government does not work weekends - the files are unlikely to be released on to the official National Archives site until Monday. This appears to be a victory for Trump in his never-ending battle with the intelligence agencies. *  *  * As we detailed earlier, The Deep States' 'war' with President Trump may sink from the headlines every so often, but there is little doubt that it continues to bubble away, battle after battle. This week's delayed, reduced... and now soon-to-be-complete release of the rest of the previously classified JKF files is yet another clash with the spy agencies... and this time President Trump may have won... As AP's Zeke Miller writes, it was a showdown 25 years in the making: With the world itching to finally get a look at classified Kennedy assassination files, and the deadline for their release just hours away, intelligence officials were still angling for a way to keep their secrets. President Donald Trump, the one man able to block the release, did not appreciate their persistence. He did not intend to make this easy. Like much else surrounding investigations of the 1963 killing of President John F. Kennedy, this week’s release of 2,800 records from the JFK files was anything but smooth. It came together only at the last minute, with White House lawyers still fielding late-arriving requests for additional redactions in the morning and an irritated Trump continuing to resist signing off on the request, according to an account by two White House officials. They spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss internal discussions. The tale of the final hours before the congressionally mandated 25-year release deadline on Thursday adds a new chapter to the story of Trump’s troubled relationship with his spy agencies. He again flashed his skepticism and unpredictability in dealing with agencies long accustomed to a level of deference. Intelligence officials, meanwhile, were again left scratching their heads about a president whose impulses they cannot predict. And those officials had their own story tell, some rejecting the notion they were slow to act on Trump’s expectations for the documents. The CIA began work months ago to get its remaining assassination-related documents ready for release on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the process. The person, who was not authorized to publicly to discuss the process and spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the goal was to have all the agency’s documents ready to be released in full or with national security redactions before the deadline. Since taking office, Trump has challenged the integrity of intelligence leaders, moved to exert more control over U.S. spying agencies and accused his predecessor of using government spycraft to monitor his campaign. In the JFK files matter, one White House official said, Trump wanted to make clear he wouldn’t be bullied by the agencies. Whatever occurred in the lead-up to deadline day, Trump was irritated Thursday that agencies still were arguing for more redactions. The president earlier in the week had tweeted to tease the release of the documents, heightening the sense of drama on a subject that has sparked the imaginations of conspiracy theorists for decades. Under a 1992 law, all of the records related to the assassination were to be made public unless explicitly withheld by the president. Just before the release Thursday, Trump wrote in a memorandum that he had “no choice” but to agree to requests from the CIA and FBI to keep thousands of documents secret because of the possibility that releasing the information could still harm national security. Two aides said Trump was upset by what he perceived to be overly broad secrecy requests, adding that the agencies had been explicitly warned about his expectation that redactions be kept to a minimum. “The president and White House have been very clear with all agencies for weeks: They must be transparent and disclose all information possible,” White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said Friday. Late last week, Trump received his first official briefing on the release in an Oval Office meeting that included Chief of Staff John Kelly, White House Counsel Don McGahn and National Security Council legal adviser John Eisenberg. Trump made it clear he was unsatisfied with the pace of declassification. Trump’s tweets, an official said, were meant as a signal to the intelligence community to take seriously his threats to release the documents in their entirety. According to White House officials, Trump accepted that some of the records contained references to sensitive sources and methods used by the intelligence community and law enforcement and that declassification could harm American foreign policy interests. But after having the scope of the redactions presented to him, Trump told aides he did not believe them to be in the spirit of the law. On Thursday, Trump’s top aides presented him with an alternative to simply acquiescing to the agency requests: He could temporarily allow the redactions while ordering the agencies to launch a new comprehensive examination of the records still withheld or redacted in part. Trump accepted the suggestion, ordering that agencies be “extremely circumspect” about keeping the remaining documents secret at the end of the 180-day assessment. “After strict consultation with General Kelly, the CIA and other agencies, I will be releasing ALL JFK files other than the names and addresses of any mentioned person who is still living,” Trump wrote in a Friday tweet.   “I am doing this for reasons of full disclosure, transparency and in order to put any and all conspiracy theories to rest.” #JFKFiles pic.twitter.com/AnPBSJFh3J — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2017

28 октября, 14:41

Why North Korea and America Could Be on the Road to War

Dave Majumdar Security, Asia Can this be stopped?  The United States and South Korea are continuing to urge North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, but it is unclear how Washington intends to achieve that goal. Pyongyang has little incentive to give up its nuclear arsenal and Washington has offered little in the way of carrots that would encourage the Kim regime to do so. “Behind me to the north, an oppressive regime that shackles its people, denying their freedom, their welfare and their human dignity in pursuit of nuclear weapons in the means of delivery, in order to threaten other with catastrophe,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said, speaking at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea on Oct. 27. “North Korean provocations continue to threaten regional and world peace.  And despite the unanimous condemnation by the United Nations Security Council, they still proceed. And as the U.S. secretary of state, Tillerson, has made clear, our goal is not war, but rather the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Recommended: This Was the Plane That Almost Replaced the F-22 Raptor  Mattis’ South Korean counterpart, South Korean Minister of National Defense Song Young-Moo, urged Pyongyang to come to the negotiating table while simultaneously warning the Kim regime that Seoul will not tolerate aggressive behavior. “We also affirm that, although North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapon and missiles, but these are weapons that they should never be used,” Moon said. Recommended: Could the Battleship Make a Comeback? ​ “Should they ever use it, they will be faced with the strong might of the ROK-U.S. combined forces, and they will be met with a proportional and firm response. And we also strongly implore that North Korea stop its reckless provocations and come out toward the path of peace and dialogue.” Read full article

27 октября, 22:41

False Flag Terrorist Bombings, Murder Plots, And More: The Stunning Revelations In The JFK Assassination Files

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Following last night's release of the latest set of JFK Assassination Files, the public has been busy combing through the several thousand documents. Among the more notable discoveries so far are the following: the CIA contemplated mafia hits on Cuban President Fidel Castro, involving the "false flag" staging of bombings in Miami; Someone calling the FBI threatening to kill Lee Harvey Oswald a day before Oswald’s murder; the US examined sabotaging airplane parts heading to Cuba. As a reminder, following a deadline 25 years in the making, last night the National Archives released an abridged dump of JFK Assassination files. While president Trump blocked the release of some, arguably the most controversial, documents citing national security concerns, the release still left researchers and conspiracy theorists with 52 previously unreleased full documents and thousands in part to sift through. Here are the key highlights from the trove so far, courtesy of CBS and AP: Sabotaging plane parts A national security council document from 1962, one year before Kennedy’s murder, referenced “Operation Mongoose,” a covert attempt to topple communism in Cuba. In the minutes of a secret meeting on Operation Mongoose from September 14,1962, “General (Marshall) Carter said that the CIA would examine the possibilities of sabotaging airplane parts which are scheduled to be shipped from Canada to Cuba.” CIA-mafia plot on Castro A 1975 document from the Rockefeller Commission detailing the CIA’s role in foreign assassinations said plans to assassinate Castro were undertaken in the early days of the Kennedy administration. The report said Attorney General Robert Kennedy, the President’s brother, told the FBI he learned the CIA hired an intermediary “to approach Sam Giancana with a proposition of paying $150,000 to hire some gunman to go into Cuba and kill Castro.” The attorney general said that made it hard to prosecute Giancana, a Sicilian American mobster.  “Attorney General Kennedy stated that the CIA should never undertake the use of mafia people again without first checking with the Department of Justice because it would be difficult to prosecute such people in the future,” the report reads. The report also said the CIA was later interested in using mobsters to deliver a poison pill to Castro in order to kill him. CIA plots "False Flags" Terrorist events in Miami During Operation Mongoose in 1960, the CIA also considered staging "false flag" terror events in Miami and blaming it on pro-Castro Cubans. “We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of a Cuban agent and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government.” UK paper warned of ‘big news' According to a memo from the CIA’s deputy director to the head of the FBI, a senior reporter in the Cambridge News in England received an anonymous phone call, saying he should contact the American Embassy in London for “some big news,” before abruptly hanging up. The FBI gets a death threat on Oswald the day before his murder A document dated November 24, 1963, showed FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover addressing the death of Oswald at the hands of Jack Ruby. “There is nothing further on the Oswald case except that he is dead,” Hoover begins.Hoover said the FBI’s Dallas office received a call “from a man talking in a calm voice,” saying he was a member of a committee to kill Oswald. He said they pressed the Dallas chief of police to protect Oswald, but Ruby was nevertheless able to kill the gunman.  “Ruby says no one was associated with him and denies having made the telephone call to our Dallas office last night,” Hoover said. Hoover went on to say the FBI had evidence of Oswald’s guilt and intercepts of Oswald’s communications with Cuba and the Soviet Union. He said he was concerned there would be doubt in the public about Oswald’s guilt and that President Lyndon Johnson would appoint a commission to investigate the assassination. Passing blame for a coup in South Vietnam A top secret document from 1975 for the Rockefeller Commission outlines the testimony of former CIA Director Richard Helms. In the transcript, Helms said he thought former President Richard Nixon believed the CIA was responsible for the death of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, who died following a coup linked to the CIA. “There is absolutely no evidence of this in the agency records and the whole thing has been, I mean rather — what is the word I want — heated by the fact that President Johnson used to go around saying that the reason President Kennedy was assassinated was that he had assassinated President Diem and this was just … justice,” Helms said. Helms added: “where he got this from, I don’t know.” The deposition continues, with him being asked if there was any way Oswald was in some way a CIA agent or an agent,” before the document cuts off. Alleged Cuban intel officer said he knew Oswald A cable from the FBI in 1967 quoted one man quipping Oswald must have been a good shot. The alleged Cuban officer returned, “oh, he was quite good.” Asked why he said that, the officer said, “I knew him.” Jack Ruby’s connections with Dallas police An informant told the FBI that Oswald’s assassin, Jack Ruby, had close links to local police in Dallas. Ruby, whose real name was Jacob Leon Rubenstein, was said to have had a “good in” with the authorities, who were served free drinks at his nightclub. A friend of Ruby’s, Lou Lebby, described him in an FBI document as “emotional, unstable and a person who made his living primarily from ‘scalping’ tickets to sports events.” Soviets said killing was an ‘organized conspiracy’ FBI Director Hoover forwarded a memo to the White House in 1963, shortly after Kennedy’s death. The memo, obtained by the Church Committee and classified top secret, detailed US sources’ sense of the reaction in the USSR to Kennedy’s death. “According to our source, officials of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union believed there was some well-organized conspiracy on the part of the ‘ultraright’ in the United States to effect a ‘coup,'” the memo said. “They seem convinced that the assassination was not the deed of one man, but that it arose out of a carefully planned campaign in which several people played a part.” The source said the Soviet officials claimed no connection between Oswald and the USSR, and described him as “a neurotic gunman. CIA intercepts call from Oswald to KGB A CIA memo from the day of Kennedy’s assassination outlined a CIA intercept of a call from Oswald, then in Mexico City, to the Russian embassy in Mexico. Oswald spoke to the consul, Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov, an “identified KGB officer” “in broken Russian.” The memo’s author said he was told by the FBI’s liaison officer that the bureau believed Oswald’s visit was to get help with a passport or visa. The FBI was tracking Oswald before JFK's assassination Oswald was being tracked by the New Orleans division of the FBI in October 1963 – the month before the assassination took place. An FBI report into the New Orleans division of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee said that, while the committee had been inactive since Oswald left the city, the bureau was planning to stay in contact “with Cuban sources for any indication of additional activity.” Copies of the report were sent to FBI divisions in New York and Dallas, the city in which Kennedy was killed. Soviets Fear Assassination Would Lead To All Out War The Soviet Union feared that the assassination of John F. Kennedy would lead to all-out war between it and the United States. A CIA source cited in the documents claimed that officials in the Communist Party believed the killing was part of a conspiracy by the “ultra-right” in the US, and were concerned that “without leadership, some irresponsible general in the US might launch a missile at the Soviet Union.” Soviet officials also described assassin Lee Harvey Oswald as “a neurotic maniac who was disloyal to his own country,” and played down the significance of his time within the Union.

27 октября, 12:38

The Man Who Thought He Could Fix Afghanistan

To get something done in Afghanistan, you need to know Scott Guggenheim. But even the ultimate fixer isn’t sure anyone can solve the country’s problems.

27 октября, 01:01

Syrian government to blame for April sarin attack: U.N. report

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad is to blame for a chemical attack on the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed dozens of people last April, according to a report sent to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday.

27 октября, 01:01

Syrian government to blame for April sarin attack: U.N. report

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad is to blame for a chemical attack on the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed dozens last April according to a report sent to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday.

26 октября, 12:02

Leaked document shows Tillerson power play

A leaked document shows how the secretary of state is trying to centralize foreign policy decision making, alarming veteran diplomats.

25 октября, 17:57

Trump's New Refugee Policy Targets These 11 Countries

The administration won't say who's on it, but The Atlantic has obtained a list.

25 октября, 13:00

Who will stop Stephen Miller, the man behind America's anti-refugee policy?

Miller has usurped the power of the National Security Council, state and defense departments to set refugee policy by himselfPresident Trump isn’t one to let a little cognitive dissonance get in the way of a nice dinner. So he didn’t miss Thursday’s gala fundraiser at the Kuwaiti embassy for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), held at a time when his administration is barring a record number of refugees from entering the US.Since 1980, presidents have set a ceiling on how many refugees the US may admit each year. That cap ranged from over 100,000 under Bush Sr and Clinton to around 80,000 for most of Bush Jr and Obama’s administrations. Trump recently lowered the ceiling to 45,000, the lowest it’s ever been, over the objections of the Pentagon, joint chiefs of staff, state department, and Vice-President Pence, all of whom wanted it higher. Trump is also seeking to enact new rules designed to block refugees from reuniting with family members and grind the resettlement process to a halt. Continue reading...

24 октября, 22:46

U.S. condemns Russia veto of probe into Syria chemical weapons use

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is "very disappointed" that Russia on Tuesday cast a veto at the United Nations Security Council against renewing a mandate to continue an investigation into who was responsible for the use of chemical weapons during Syria's civil war.

24 октября, 18:08

Russia vetoes extension of mission that investigates use of chemical weapons

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia cast a veto at the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday preventing the renewal of the mandate to a mission that investigates the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

24 октября, 15:24

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims October 24, 2017, as United Nations Day

UNITED NATIONS DAY, 2017 - - - - - - - BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION On United Nations Day, we recognize the more than seven decades of contributions the United Nations has made to peace and security among nations. The United Nations was founded on the vision that diverse nations could cooperate to preserve sovereignty, enhance security, build prosperity, and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms. Its purpose remains as essential today as ever before. As the world faces increasing transnational threats ‑‑ including the spread of terrorism and mass atrocities around the globe, the risk of famine and humanitarian crises, and nuclear proliferation by rogue regimes that threaten others with the most destructive weapons known to humanity ‑‑ we call on all member states to reaffirm their commitments to the obligations and responsibilities enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Member states should work together as the founders of the United Nations intended and confront those who threaten chaos, turmoil, and terror. We continue to believe that the United Nations can play an important role in resolving international disputes and that its success depends on a coalition of strong sovereign nations. This year alone, the United States has led efforts at the United Nations to strengthen and expand sanctions against North Korea, review the mandates of peacekeeping missions to make sure they are achievable, and promote an ambitious campaign of reform, including with respect to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The United Nations Security Council, of which the United States is a permanent member, remains, as ever, a valuable forum for responding to threats to international peace and security. We remain hopeful that the United Nations can achieve its goals of maintaining international peace and security and developing friendly relations among nations. We expect member states to hold the United Nations accountable, just as we expect people around the world to hold their own governments accountable. Although a great deal of work remains to be done for the United Nations to realize its full potential, we reaffirm our commitment to its goals in order to build a better tomorrow for future generations. On United Nations Day, we also pause to acknowledge the men and women who serve in faraway peacekeeping missions, who provide humanitarian assistance to people in war-torn countries, who endeavor to keep the world safe from weapons of mass destruction, and who protect innocent children. Through their effort and personal sacrifice, they bring hope and relief to countless people in need. NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 24, 2017, as United Nations Day. I urge the Governors of the 50 States, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the officials of all other areas under the flag of the United States, to observe United Nations Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second. DONALD J. TRUMP  

04 сентября 2015, 14:40

The Clinton Emails and the Iran Lobby

The release of another batch of Hillary Clinton emails, courtesy of the State Department, provides an opportunity to glimpse inside the formation of the Obama administration's approach to Iran in the early days of his presidency. Several interesting emails in particular shed some light on the important role a pro-Iranian lobbying group played in shaping U.S. policy. In fact, given the smear merchants who constantly berate the "Jewish lobby" as being all-powerful in Washington, it turns out that the Iran lobby has been far more influential during the Obama presidency and that they've had the ear of key policymakers in the administration. As Hillary Clinton's emails demonstrate, a 10-page plan sent to her by four key members of The Iran Project provided the blueprint for America's strategy with Iran. Perhaps no one has taken a deeper dive into the Iran lobby than Lee Smith, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and senior editor of The Weekly Standard. In a series of articles he penned in his Tablet Magazine column, "Agents of Influence" in 2010, he explored the dueling Iran lobbies in detail, half a year after the protest movement in Iran was crushed by the regime. In "Iran's Man in Washington," Smith explored Flynt Leverett and his wife, Hillary Mann Leverett, whose main claim to fame rested on Flynt's access to the hard-line elements of the regime in Tehran and the couple's invention of a "grand bargain" offered by Iran in 2003. Smith explains that Flynt "was lionized by liberals for his opposition to the Bush administration's Iran policy." They blamed the Bush administration for not taking Iran up on their proposed "grand bargain." The problem was, as a former colleague on the National Security Council staff recalled, "It was either a concoction of the Swiss ambassador, or of the Swiss ambassador and the Leveretts together." Lee Smith elaborated: Although the legend of the Grand Bargain has been discredited, the tale--a narrative describing a sensible, realistic Iran eagerly courting a stubborn Washington, with the Leveretts in the middle of things--served its purpose. It not only identified the couple as critics of the Bush administration, it also certified them as experts about the Iranian regime--and as instruments through which the regime might influence Washington. Another pillar of the Iran lobby in Washington, Smith writes in "The Immigrant," is Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), who became the face of the Iranian-American lobby in Washington. Unlike the Leveretts, Parsi "nurtured a relationship with regime insiders close to Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani--the so-called 'reformers' in Tehran--who have squared off against the faction favored by the Leveretts, which includes Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the Revolutionary Guard Corps." Trita Parsi came to the U.S. from Sweden in 2001, having left Iran when he was four years old, in 1978 before the Iranian revolution kicked into high gear. In 2002, he formed the NIAC "hoping to give voice not only to the diaspora's talents and resources but also its growing resentments." In a recent article, "Meet the Iran Lobby," Lee Smith described Parsi as "the tip of the spear of the Iran Lobby," who "won a defining battle over the direction of American foreign policy." Given the nuclear agreement reached in Vienna in July, there can be no doubt that Lee Smith is right. The Iran lobby has indeed become powerful in Washington's policy circles and at the highest levels of government. This is the story of another pillar of that lobby, The Iran Project, and the role they played in working with the Obama administration in its infancy to form an approach to Iran, as evidenced by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails. Determination in the Administration Preferring to eschew the hardball foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration, it's no secret that Obama believed he could catch more bees with honey. Shortly after taking office in 2009, the new president began a process of engagement with Iran that was ultimately designed to reestablish full U.S. diplomatic relations. A major Israeli newspaper, Maariv, reported that Washington was ready to hold senior level diplomatic contacts, agree to reciprocal visits, approve security cooperation between the countries, establish direct flights between the U.S. and Iran, and grant visas to Iranians wishing to visit the United States. Much to Obama's chagrin, the Iranians rejected the overture. President Obama, however, remained determined to strike a grand bargain with Iran. During his initial diplomatic outreach, thousands of Iranian protesters took to the streets to protest the fraudulent election results that reelected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The regime brutally cracked down on the protesters killing hundreds, and arresting and torturing thousands. But Obama was undeterred and kept engaging with the regime. Nor did he appear to re-think his approach few months later in September when the U.S., Britain, and France revealed that Iran was secretly building a uranium enrichment facility in a mountain near Qom that came to be known as the Fordow facility. Despite the failure of Obama's outreach in his first year and the clenched fist response offered by the regime in Tehran, the White House was still in need of a strategy with Iran. The blueprint that the Obama administration eventually adopted was one put out by the president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stephen Heintz, and former ambassadors, William Luers, Thomas Pickering, and Frank Wisner. They are the key members of The Iran Project, a pro-Iran lobbying group "dedicated to improving the relationship between the U.S. and Iranian governments." The Iran Project Peter Waldman explained in an article for Bloomberg Politics that "for more than a decade they've conducted a dialogue with well placed Iranians, including Mohammad Javad Zarif," Iran's foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund spent millions of dollars since 2003 promoting a nuclear agreement with Iran, mainly through The Iran Project. After the 9/11 attacks, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund's president, Stephen Heintz, became more infatuated with Iran and he began thinking about "its geostrategic importance and its relation to the Sunni world," Heintz said. So he established The Iran Project in cooperation with the United Nations Association of the U.S. headed by William Luers. Luers made contact with Mohammad Javad Zarif through Iran's mission to the UN in New York. He also recruited career diplomats Thomas Pickering (who also serves on NIAC's Advisory Board) and Frank Wisner. They "developed a relationship with Zarif, who was stationed in New York representing Iran at the UN. In early 2002, The Iran Project set up a meeting with Iranians affiliated with the Institute for Political and International Studies in Tehran, a think tank with close government ties," Waldman explained. The secret meetings they held in European capitals stopped when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became Iran's president in 2005 but their relationship with Zarif proved to be lynchpin in getting negotiations underway when he was made foreign minister in 2013. Waldman quotes a State Department official saying that the administration welcomed backchannel efforts like The Iran Project's because "it proves useful both to have knowledgeable former officials and country experts engaging with their counterparts and in reinforcing our own messages when possible." But The Iran Project, which became an independent non-governmental entity as Barack Obama took office in 2009, did more than that for the State Department under Hillary Clinton. They provided the initial plan that as their website states, would "encourage greater cooperation between the U.S. and Iran for greater regional stability." In other words, early on in the Obama administration, the decision was made that a deal with Iran would be about more than their nuclear file. Toward a New Policy on Iran In December 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Under-Secretary of State William Burns met with Heintz, Luers, Pickering, and Wisner--four of the nine key leaders of The Iran Project. As Hillary Clinton's emails demonstrate, Pickering emailed her their 10-page plan that "provides fuller detail on the ideas we discussed" on December 22, 2010. Entitled, "Toward a New Policy on Iran," it provided the outline for U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic. Indeed, most of the features contained in the plan are recognizable looking back at U.S. diplomacy since that time. It is, in essence, a document of America's surrender from the Middle East and acquiescence in Iran's dominance in the region. This policy prescription would set the table to discuss the terms of that surrender. "We propose that you urge the President to instruct you to open a direct relationship with Iran," their 2010 policy paper states. "The burden rests on the U.S. to convince an uncertain Iranian leadership to come out of its shell." That required written assurances that the Obama administration would not seek a policy of regime change. Mr. Obama sent Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei a letter early in his first term and many more followed between either Khamenei or President Rouhani after his 2013 election. To start off on the right foot with Iran, President Obama "must find a way to communicate directly with the Supreme Leader a U.S. desire to open official talks" and it should be conducted through a personal emissary he appoints to deliver oral messages. According to Israel's biggest-selling daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, Barack Obama dispatched a personal emissary to a series of secret meetings in the late summer and autumn of 2012 to meet with "Iranian officials led by a personal representative of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei." Obama's emissary was his special adviser, Valerie Jarrett, a Chicago lawyer and close friend of Mr. Obama, born in Shiraz, Iran, to American parents. The paper described her as "a key figure in secret contacts the White House is conducting with the Iranian regime." What Obama's emissary should call for "in a respectful tone" is mutual recognition of the other's legitimate interests in the area. That means before any discussions would commence, the U.S. would have to recognize as legitimate, Iran's reach into Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, to the Mediterranean Sea. In other words, the United States should sign up to legitimize the export of the Islamic Republic's revolution, a central raison d'être of the regime that emerged after the 1979 revolution. A thaw in relations must precede progress on the nuclear deal, this Iran lobby argued, because one of the consequences of continuing with the current policy "will be the missed opportunity to engage Iran in a long tem constructive regional strategy." Indeed, with Iran acting as America's partner in the Middle East, there will be an opportunity to help establish "a regional security structure aimed at giving Iran and the Gulf states a greater sense of stability." This would allow the U.S. and Iran "to develop together approaches to... eventually weaken Iran's support for Hamas and Hezbollah." This, of course, is akin to discussing fire safety measures with the neighborhood's leading arsonist. Therefore, the U.S. should immediately redeem Iran, end its isolation, and cooperate with the regime in Tehran on other issues of mutual interest before discussing the nuclear program directly: "A U.S. offer to cooperate with Iran as an equal partner on one or more non-nuclear issues will set the stage for [sic] more fruitful discussion of the nuclear issue. The U.S. will improve markedly chances to get Iran to deal seriously with the nuclear issues by starting with an offer to cooperate on other problems in the region." That is precisely what the Obama administration has been at pains to avoid saying publicly--that the U.S. has acted as Iran's air force in Iraq in an effort to rollback the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS. As Lee Smith reported in Tablet Magazine in May 2014: In Lebanon, the U.S. intelligence community has teamed up with the Lebanese Armed Forces' military intelligence, essentially now a subset of Hezbollah, to fight Sunni extremists. In Iraq, the administration has dispatched arms to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, another Iranian asset who is allied with groups that have killed American soldiers, like Asaib Ahl a-Haq, to support his counter-insurgency against Sunni fighters. Regarding the nuclear negotiations themselves, the plan's authors called on the administration to adopt an approach that would provide for Iran's enrichment under international supervision and would eliminate any suggestion that Iran suspends either its enrichment or its manufacturing of key components for their nuclear facilities as a precondition for any progress toward direct talks. And finally, once they begin to negotiate directly with each other, the U.S. should set aside the "zero enrichment preconditions for any progress in the talks." That means shredding the previous six UN Security Council resolutions aimed at stopping Iran's nuclear program and offering upfront to Iran the right to enrich uranium on its own soil. Most critics of the nuclear pact reached in July consider the original sin to be Obama's concession to Iran that they would be allowed to complete the full nuclear cycle on their own soil. What the Fatwa? Picking up on the Iran lobby's paper, another key talking point the Obama administration relied on is an understanding that "the Leader's fatwa against the building or use of nuclear weapons could establish an excellent basis for discussions with the aim of agreement for greater IAEA access to Iran's nuclear program to assure the world about Iran's nuclear intentions and develop an arrangement regarding enrichment." This nuclear fatwa, however, is a canard and a hoax. It is "nothing more than a propaganda ruse on the part of the Iranian regime," according to many analysts including the Middle East Media Research Institute. Nevertheless, it has been frequently cited by the administration and repeated by Mr. Obama in his March 2015 annual statement to Iran marking the Persian new year. And the IAEA now has secret side deals with Iran for inspections with holes so big one could drive a rundown Iranian Saipa through. To top it all off, The Iran Project policy plan also called for "mutual recognition that both leaders of the U.S. and Iran have stated publicly their desire for a world without nuclear weapons." That was designed to send a shot over Israel's bow--an assumed nuclear weapons program that sparked no regional nuclear arms race such as Iran's today. True to form, with the July nuclear deal sealed and in the rearview mirror, Mohammad Zarif penned an article in The Guardian, "Iran has signed a historic nuclear deal--now it's Israel's turn." Iran's Success at America's Expense If the Obama administration did not adopt this plan in its entirety, then it would be an impressive coincidence that just about all of the proposals in The Iran Project's blueprint were adopted and the predictable outcome is the shameful and harmful nuclear deal with Iran. It's not just that the Obama administration was willing to adopt the deal; it's the workman-like salesmanship of the deal that Mr. Obama is engaged in. Despite poll after poll indicating that the more Americans learn about the deal, the less they like it--with a two-to-one margin currently opposed--President Obama has stood resolute. Instead of explaining that the deal wasn't perfect but it was the best he could negotiate and it meets U.S. security needs, or acknowledging that his critics have some good points (since they're based on the President's broken promises) and working to make a few unilateral adjustments that would set more minds at ease, he has chose a different path. He offered no quarter, likening the experts who came out against the agreement to "Lobbyists and pundits" who "were suddenly transformed into arm-chair nuclear scientists." Then, he labeled them "the crazies." In a manner befitting of former CIA Director George Tenet's "slam dunk" prognosis in the run up the 2003 Iraq war, Obama even declared: "I've had to make a lot of tough calls as President, but whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls. It's not even close." The crystal clear reality is that the Obama administration is not just onboard with the Iran lobby's positions, but he has bought it all--hook, line, and sinker. Whether the inception of the idea began before he came to Washington, or whether The Iran Project, the National Iranian American Council, or the likes of the Leveretts cemented the approach he would adopt during negotiations, one thing is certain: The nuclear deal with Iran is a boon for all involved other than the U.S. and its allies in Israel and the wider Middle East. It marks America's definitive shift away from its traditional regional allies and defines a new relationship with a former adversary that is unfortunately based on hope rather than experience. The Iran lobby will no doubt celebrate this and build on their quiet and impressive success. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

04 сентября 2015, 14:40

The Clinton Emails and the Iran Lobby

The release of another batch of Hillary Clinton emails, courtesy of the State Department, provides an opportunity to glimpse inside the formation of the Obama administration's approach to Iran in the early days of his presidency. Several interesting emails in particular shed some light on the important role a pro-Iranian lobbying group played in shaping U.S. policy. In fact, given the smear merchants who constantly berate the "Jewish lobby" as being all-powerful in Washington, it turns out that the Iran lobby has been far more influential during the Obama presidency and that they've had the ear of key policymakers in the administration. As Hillary Clinton's emails demonstrate, a 10-page plan sent to her by four key members of The Iran Project provided the blueprint for America's strategy with Iran. Perhaps no one has taken a deeper dive into the Iran lobby than Lee Smith, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and senior editor of The Weekly Standard. In a series of articles he penned in his Tablet Magazine column, "Agents of Influence" in 2010, he explored the dueling Iran lobbies in detail, half a year after the protest movement in Iran was crushed by the regime. In "Iran's Man in Washington," Smith explored Flynt Leverett and his wife, Hillary Mann Leverett, whose main claim to fame rested on Flynt's access to the hard-line elements of the regime in Tehran and the couple's invention of a "grand bargain" offered by Iran in 2003. Smith explains that Flynt "was lionized by liberals for his opposition to the Bush administration's Iran policy." They blamed the Bush administration for not taking Iran up on their proposed "grand bargain." The problem was, as a former colleague on the National Security Council staff recalled, "It was either a concoction of the Swiss ambassador, or of the Swiss ambassador and the Leveretts together." Lee Smith elaborated: Although the legend of the Grand Bargain has been discredited, the tale--a narrative describing a sensible, realistic Iran eagerly courting a stubborn Washington, with the Leveretts in the middle of things--served its purpose. It not only identified the couple as critics of the Bush administration, it also certified them as experts about the Iranian regime--and as instruments through which the regime might influence Washington. Another pillar of the Iran lobby in Washington, Smith writes in "The Immigrant," is Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), who became the face of the Iranian-American lobby in Washington. Unlike the Leveretts, Parsi "nurtured a relationship with regime insiders close to Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani--the so-called 'reformers' in Tehran--who have squared off against the faction favored by the Leveretts, which includes Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the Revolutionary Guard Corps." Trita Parsi came to the U.S. from Sweden in 2001, having left Iran when he was four years old, in 1978 before the Iranian revolution kicked into high gear. In 2002, he formed the NIAC "hoping to give voice not only to the diaspora's talents and resources but also its growing resentments." In a recent article, "Meet the Iran Lobby," Lee Smith described Parsi as "the tip of the spear of the Iran Lobby," who "won a defining battle over the direction of American foreign policy." Given the nuclear agreement reached in Vienna in July, there can be no doubt that Lee Smith is right. The Iran lobby has indeed become powerful in Washington's policy circles and at the highest levels of government. This is the story of another pillar of that lobby, The Iran Project, and the role they played in working with the Obama administration in its infancy to form an approach to Iran, as evidenced by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails. Determination in the Administration Preferring to eschew the hardball foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration, it's no secret that Obama believed he could catch more bees with honey. Shortly after taking office in 2009, the new president began a process of engagement with Iran that was ultimately designed to reestablish full U.S. diplomatic relations. A major Israeli newspaper, Maariv, reported that Washington was ready to hold senior level diplomatic contacts, agree to reciprocal visits, approve security cooperation between the countries, establish direct flights between the U.S. and Iran, and grant visas to Iranians wishing to visit the United States. Much to Obama's chagrin, the Iranians rejected the overture. President Obama, however, remained determined to strike a grand bargain with Iran. During his initial diplomatic outreach, thousands of Iranian protesters took to the streets to protest the fraudulent election results that reelected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The regime brutally cracked down on the protesters killing hundreds, and arresting and torturing thousands. But Obama was undeterred and kept engaging with the regime. Nor did he appear to re-think his approach few months later in September when the U.S., Britain, and France revealed that Iran was secretly building a uranium enrichment facility in a mountain near Qom that came to be known as the Fordow facility. Despite the failure of Obama's outreach in his first year and the clenched fist response offered by the regime in Tehran, the White House was still in need of a strategy with Iran. The blueprint that the Obama administration eventually adopted was one put out by the president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stephen Heintz, and former ambassadors, William Luers, Thomas Pickering, and Frank Wisner. They are the key members of The Iran Project, a pro-Iran lobbying group "dedicated to improving the relationship between the U.S. and Iranian governments." The Iran Project Peter Waldman explained in an article for Bloomberg Politics that "for more than a decade they've conducted a dialogue with well placed Iranians, including Mohammad Javad Zarif," Iran's foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund spent millions of dollars since 2003 promoting a nuclear agreement with Iran, mainly through The Iran Project. After the 9/11 attacks, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund's president, Stephen Heintz, became more infatuated with Iran and he began thinking about "its geostrategic importance and its relation to the Sunni world," Heintz said. So he established The Iran Project in cooperation with the United Nations Association of the U.S. headed by William Luers. Luers made contact with Mohammad Javad Zarif through Iran's mission to the UN in New York. He also recruited career diplomats Thomas Pickering (who also serves on NIAC's Advisory Board) and Frank Wisner. They "developed a relationship with Zarif, who was stationed in New York representing Iran at the UN. In early 2002, The Iran Project set up a meeting with Iranians affiliated with the Institute for Political and International Studies in Tehran, a think tank with close government ties," Waldman explained. The secret meetings they held in European capitals stopped when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became Iran's president in 2005 but their relationship with Zarif proved to be lynchpin in getting negotiations underway when he was made foreign minister in 2013. Waldman quotes a State Department official saying that the administration welcomed backchannel efforts like The Iran Project's because "it proves useful both to have knowledgeable former officials and country experts engaging with their counterparts and in reinforcing our own messages when possible." But The Iran Project, which became an independent non-governmental entity as Barack Obama took office in 2009, did more than that for the State Department under Hillary Clinton. They provided the initial plan that as their website states, would "encourage greater cooperation between the U.S. and Iran for greater regional stability." In other words, early on in the Obama administration, the decision was made that a deal with Iran would be about more than their nuclear file. Toward a New Policy on Iran In December 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Under-Secretary of State William Burns met with Heintz, Luers, Pickering, and Wisner--four of the nine key leaders of The Iran Project. As Hillary Clinton's emails demonstrate, Pickering emailed her their 10-page plan that "provides fuller detail on the ideas we discussed" on December 22, 2010. Entitled, "Toward a New Policy on Iran," it provided the outline for U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic. Indeed, most of the features contained in the plan are recognizable looking back at U.S. diplomacy since that time. It is, in essence, a document of America's surrender from the Middle East and acquiescence in Iran's dominance in the region. This policy prescription would set the table to discuss the terms of that surrender. "We propose that you urge the President to instruct you to open a direct relationship with Iran," their 2010 policy paper states. "The burden rests on the U.S. to convince an uncertain Iranian leadership to come out of its shell." That required written assurances that the Obama administration would not seek a policy of regime change. Mr. Obama sent Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei a letter early in his first term and many more followed between either Khamenei or President Rouhani after his 2013 election. To start off on the right foot with Iran, President Obama "must find a way to communicate directly with the Supreme Leader a U.S. desire to open official talks" and it should be conducted through a personal emissary he appoints to deliver oral messages. According to Israel's biggest-selling daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, Barack Obama dispatched a personal emissary to a series of secret meetings in the late summer and autumn of 2012 to meet with "Iranian officials led by a personal representative of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei." Obama's emissary was his special adviser, Valerie Jarrett, a Chicago lawyer and close friend of Mr. Obama, born in Shiraz, Iran, to American parents. The paper described her as "a key figure in secret contacts the White House is conducting with the Iranian regime." What Obama's emissary should call for "in a respectful tone" is mutual recognition of the other's legitimate interests in the area. That means before any discussions would commence, the U.S. would have to recognize as legitimate, Iran's reach into Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, to the Mediterranean Sea. In other words, the United States should sign up to legitimize the export of the Islamic Republic's revolution, a central raison d'être of the regime that emerged after the 1979 revolution. A thaw in relations must precede progress on the nuclear deal, this Iran lobby argued, because one of the consequences of continuing with the current policy "will be the missed opportunity to engage Iran in a long tem constructive regional strategy." Indeed, with Iran acting as America's partner in the Middle East, there will be an opportunity to help establish "a regional security structure aimed at giving Iran and the Gulf states a greater sense of stability." This would allow the U.S. and Iran "to develop together approaches to... eventually weaken Iran's support for Hamas and Hezbollah." This, of course, is akin to discussing fire safety measures with the neighborhood's leading arsonist. Therefore, the U.S. should immediately redeem Iran, end its isolation, and cooperate with the regime in Tehran on other issues of mutual interest before discussing the nuclear program directly: "A U.S. offer to cooperate with Iran as an equal partner on one or more non-nuclear issues will set the stage for [sic] more fruitful discussion of the nuclear issue. The U.S. will improve markedly chances to get Iran to deal seriously with the nuclear issues by starting with an offer to cooperate on other problems in the region." That is precisely what the Obama administration has been at pains to avoid saying publicly--that the U.S. has acted as Iran's air force in Iraq in an effort to rollback the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS. As Lee Smith reported in Tablet Magazine in May 2014: In Lebanon, the U.S. intelligence community has teamed up with the Lebanese Armed Forces' military intelligence, essentially now a subset of Hezbollah, to fight Sunni extremists. In Iraq, the administration has dispatched arms to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, another Iranian asset who is allied with groups that have killed American soldiers, like Asaib Ahl a-Haq, to support his counter-insurgency against Sunni fighters. Regarding the nuclear negotiations themselves, the plan's authors called on the administration to adopt an approach that would provide for Iran's enrichment under international supervision and would eliminate any suggestion that Iran suspends either its enrichment or its manufacturing of key components for their nuclear facilities as a precondition for any progress toward direct talks. And finally, once they begin to negotiate directly with each other, the U.S. should set aside the "zero enrichment preconditions for any progress in the talks." That means shredding the previous six UN Security Council resolutions aimed at stopping Iran's nuclear program and offering upfront to Iran the right to enrich uranium on its own soil. Most critics of the nuclear pact reached in July consider the original sin to be Obama's concession to Iran that they would be allowed to complete the full nuclear cycle on their own soil. What the Fatwa? Picking up on the Iran lobby's paper, another key talking point the Obama administration relied on is an understanding that "the Leader's fatwa against the building or use of nuclear weapons could establish an excellent basis for discussions with the aim of agreement for greater IAEA access to Iran's nuclear program to assure the world about Iran's nuclear intentions and develop an arrangement regarding enrichment." This nuclear fatwa, however, is a canard and a hoax. It is "nothing more than a propaganda ruse on the part of the Iranian regime," according to many analysts including the Middle East Media Research Institute. Nevertheless, it has been frequently cited by the administration and repeated by Mr. Obama in his March 2015 annual statement to Iran marking the Persian new year. And the IAEA now has secret side deals with Iran for inspections with holes so big one could drive a rundown Iranian Saipa through. To top it all off, The Iran Project policy plan also called for "mutual recognition that both leaders of the U.S. and Iran have stated publicly their desire for a world without nuclear weapons." That was designed to send a shot over Israel's bow--an assumed nuclear weapons program that sparked no regional nuclear arms race such as Iran's today. True to form, with the July nuclear deal sealed and in the rearview mirror, Mohammad Zarif penned an article in The Guardian, "Iran has signed a historic nuclear deal--now it's Israel's turn." Iran's Success at America's Expense If the Obama administration did not adopt this plan in its entirety, then it would be an impressive coincidence that just about all of the proposals in The Iran Project's blueprint were adopted and the predictable outcome is the shameful and harmful nuclear deal with Iran. It's not just that the Obama administration was willing to adopt the deal; it's the workman-like salesmanship of the deal that Mr. Obama is engaged in. Despite poll after poll indicating that the more Americans learn about the deal, the less they like it--with a two-to-one margin currently opposed--President Obama has stood resolute. Instead of explaining that the deal wasn't perfect but it was the best he could negotiate and it meets U.S. security needs, or acknowledging that his critics have some good points (since they're based on the President's broken promises) and working to make a few unilateral adjustments that would set more minds at ease, he has chose a different path. He offered no quarter, likening the experts who came out against the agreement to "Lobbyists and pundits" who "were suddenly transformed into arm-chair nuclear scientists." Then, he labeled them "the crazies." In a manner befitting of former CIA Director George Tenet's "slam dunk" prognosis in the run up the 2003 Iraq war, Obama even declared: "I've had to make a lot of tough calls as President, but whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls. It's not even close." The crystal clear reality is that the Obama administration is not just onboard with the Iran lobby's positions, but he has bought it all--hook, line, and sinker. Whether the inception of the idea began before he came to Washington, or whether The Iran Project, the National Iranian American Council, or the likes of the Leveretts cemented the approach he would adopt during negotiations, one thing is certain: The nuclear deal with Iran is a boon for all involved other than the U.S. and its allies in Israel and the wider Middle East. It marks America's definitive shift away from its traditional regional allies and defines a new relationship with a former adversary that is unfortunately based on hope rather than experience. The Iran lobby will no doubt celebrate this and build on their quiet and impressive success. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.